Gender disparity in publication records: a qualitative study of female computer science and engineering researchers

This article was originally published here

Res Integrate Rev. Rev. 2021 December 1; 6 (1): 15. doi: 10.1186 / s41073-021-00117-3.


BACKGROUND: This paper follows the results of an exploratory quantitative analysis that compared the publication and citation records of male and female researchers affiliated with the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering at Dublin City University (DCU) in Ireland. Quantitative analysis of publications between 2013 and 2018 showed that researchers had fewer publications, received fewer citations per person, and participated less often in international collaborations. Given the importance of publications for the pursuit of an academic career, we used qualitative methods to understand these differences and explore the factors that the researchers believe contributed to this disparity.

Methods: Sixteen researchers from DCU’s Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Once transcribed and anonymized, the interviews were coded by the two authors in two rounds using an inductive approach.

RESULTS: Women interviewed believed that their opportunities to engage in research and fund research, collaborations, publications and promotions were negatively affected by gender roles, implicit gender biases, their own high professional standards, their family responsibilities, nationality and negative perceptions of their expertise and achievements.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study found that women in DCU’s Computer Science and Engineering faculty face challenges that respondents believe negatively affect their engagement in various research activities and, therefore, have contributed to their low publication rate. We suggest that while affirmative programs aimed at correcting disparities are necessary, they are more likely to improve organizational culture if implemented alongside bottom-up initiatives that engage all parties, including male researchers and researchers. non-university partners, to inform and raise awareness of the importance of gender equity.

PMID:34847943 | PMC:PMC8632200 | DO I:10.1186 / s41073-021-00117-3

Jacob L. Thornton